Census will count lines online

Under a Census Bureau contract, the Open GIS Consortium Inc. is working out ways for local and tribal jurisdictions to report boundary changes electronically.

Robert Marx, chief of Census' Geography Division, said the agency's 1960s-era Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS) will start changing this spring from a paper-intensive mapping operation and will be ready by about 2008, in time for the next decennial census in 2010.

The Wayland, Mass., consortium is prototyping the online reporting technology as a pilot for Census. Participants include ESRI of Redlands, Calif.; Galdos Systems Inc. of Vancouver; Intergraph Corp. of Huntsville, Ala.; Northrop Grumman Information Technology and subsidiary TASC Inc.; and Syncline Inc. of Boston. The vendors will use the consortium's OpenGIS interface specification and OGC Web Services to make a variety of geographic information systems and geospatial applications interoperable.

Besides the online pilot for updating local and tribal boundaries, the contract calls for OpenGIS specifications for supplying Census' Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER) data.

The two prototypes will be called WebBAS and WebTIGER.

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